by Tex Yamada
A Los Angeles County-Voting Center Community Meeting was held at SBCC Thrive LA in Wilmington on Jan. 5. The event was one of 33 voting center community meetings held from November 2018 through January 2019 in Los Angeles County. The overall project is named Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP}.
The main purpose of this open meeting was to inform L.A. County voters of a new voting system and infrastructure to be implemented in the 2020 election year, beginning with the March Primary.
The meeting focused mostly on voting centers, that will replace the more than 5,000 polling stations used in recent elections. These new voting centers will be located in areas easily accessible to most voters, for example shopping malls, business parks, civic centers, and schools. These voting centers, approximately 1,000, will operate for 11 days, including election day and weekend(s). Moreover, voters will be able to use any voting center regardless of proximity to their residential address. Another major procedural/infrastructure change is the switch from marking ballot with ink to touch screen technology, using digital computer terminals.
To bring about the above changes, Los Angeles County has hired outside contractors to work on software, hardware, and design matters, according to VSAP Project Spokesperson Laura M. Herrera. The VSAP project has scheduled testing dates in 2019, as it monitors the progress of the system conversion. The next grouping of community meetings is scheduled for April-June 2019